Executive Director, Will Zacharin said with Biosecurity SA currently responding to the Mediterranean Fruit Fly outbreak in the Clarence Park/Kurralta Park area, cleaning up gardens following the fruit season is an important measure against the pest.
“South Australia is the only mainland state that is fruit fly free and this status has significant benefits for the state, particularly for our horticultural industry,” he said.
“In 2014-15 the estimated farm-gate value of South Australia’s horticultural produce vulnerable to fruit fly infestation – including wine grapes and almonds - was $1.1 billion. This status also helps to secure producers’ access to lucrative citrus markets such as Japan, USA, Thailand and New Zealand which in 2014-15 was worth approximately $40 million.
“While we often talk about what you can do to help protect South Australia from fruit fly when travelling either into the Riverland or returning from interstate, this is a good opportunity to remember that you can also play an important role in the fight against the pest at home.”
Mr Zacharin said although it was imperative that all fallen and over ripe fruit in the Clarence Park/Kurralta Park quarantine zone was collected and disposed of, fruit tree owners right across the state also need to do the right thing and ensure their backyards are clean of any fallen fruit.
“Whether you live in the quarantine zone or elsewhere in metropolitan or regional areas this is an easy way to play your role in protecting South Australia against fruit fly,” he said.
“Fruit lying on the ground provides a good breeding ground for fruit flies. So when you are cleaning up in the garden over the weekend ensure that all fruit lying around has been collected and put in your green waste bin.”
Another important measure for home owners and gardeners to remember in the fight against fruit fly is to report ANY maggots found in fruit or fruiting vegetables, including those bought from a shop, IMMEDIATELY to the Fruit Fly Hotline (1300 666 010).
For further information on how to play your role against fruit fly visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly